Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Government Soldiers' Compensation Shame

I never fail to be horrified at how horrendously badly this Government (and others before it to be fair) treats those who work for it. We see repressive and toxic management cultures in many Government Departments which stifle innovation and create environments where bullying flourishes.

The Armed Forces, though, seem to come off particularly badly. Successive Governments abuse the willingness of men and women to make huge sacrifices for our country by failing to look after them properly. They send people to serve in war zones without the proper equipment, knowing that their families are struggling in substandard military housing. They even try to do them out of leave days by counting the time they spend travelling back from places like Iraq and Afghanistan as leave, giving them less time to spend with their families. When I was in the Civil Service, if I spent an hour and a half travelling to Birmingham for a course, then I got that time back and I can't imagine it's changed for the office based staff now.

So, that's bad enough. But today we have plain wicked. How dare the Government spend our taxes appealing the relatively modest increases in compensation awards for two injured servicemen. This is every bit as bad as denying the Gurkhas the right to live here.

Basically what the Government is saying that if you are injured in the line of duty, you only get compensated for the injury and not any other complications that injury caused. That makes no sense whatsoever. I presume that means that if you, say, break your hip and for some reason that leads to a blood clot which causes permanent brain damage, then you'd only be compensated for the original fracture, even if you needed lifelong care.

Isn't it time the Government focused its energies on improving conditions for the forces instead of screwing our brave men and women out of every last penny they can? I object to my taxes, probably far in excess of the increased awards, being paid to treat people in this way.

Bob Ainsworth, the defence minister, a supposed champion of the forces, should hang his head in shame. He could stop this, but I'm not holding my breath.


Wardog said...

Apparently, despite Labour's rhetoric that Ainsworth is much loved by the armed forces is actually absolutely detested and that this can be seen by the flurry of old generals and leaked story's on Britian's poor resourcing of our troops.

In the end, MP's like Ainsworth are 'yes' men, they will do their political bidding without hesitation towards the consequences for those he is ultimately responsible for.

anarchyintheuk said...

They decide to do this on the same day MPs receive yet more non-receipt allowances to the level of £9 000 a year.


Anthony Duncan, was originally awarded £9 250, which was increased to £46 000 by an appeal tribunal.

Matthew McWilliams awarded £8 250, which was increased to £28 750 pounds on appeal

Matt said...

Ye Gods! This is truly disgusting, though par for the course with this lot.

"These things have to be done - it has to be taken through the full legal process." - Eric Joyce

Of course, they're not doing it to reduce payments at all, just for clarification. it's the same thing that they said when they tried to avoid the FOI disclosure. Grr.

subrosa said...

I was pulled up by Richard North the other day about my post on this. He was right of course, it is the politicians fault not the bureaucratic MoD.

The politcians designed, aided and abetted by top civil servants, poor legislation. Now the MoD are having to go to the courts to have this bad legislation interpreted.

I don't think this government does treat all of those who work for it badly. After all, remember the woman with repetitive strain injury who worked in the MoD and received around £400,000 compensation from the civil courts? (That was discussed along with other issues on Radio5Live this morning).


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